JBW | Debt management

The customer: JBW

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To combat the restrictions caused by existing IT systems, Hito built a new end-to-end system which made JBW’s business more productive, flexible and able to better results for their clients.

The challenge:

Founded in 2004, JBW Judicial Services Group has established itself as a leading debt management and enforcement solutions provider. By 2010, JBW reached a turnover of £5m and was voted one of the Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to work for.

Six years of strong growth masked a key frustration: the restrictions caused by existing IT systems which relied upon a significant amount of paper-based manual processing and intervention just to maintain day-to day operations. As a result, Hito was commissioned to build a new end-to-end solution.

Hito’s approach:

Hito worked with JBW and Haulmont (technology provider) to conduct a full analysis of the existing business processes, to identify areas for improvement.

Four key business outcomes were identified:

  • Increased revenues/collections/operational performance
  • Optimise resources
  • Maximise compliance
  • Reduced operational and direct business costs

The benefits:

Hito created a bespoke system built upon the CUBA Platform supported by an open, standards-based architecture that offers unparalleled scalability and flexibility. Uniquely for the industry Hito provides complete transparency across all business processes, and enables managers to focus their energy on decision-making rather than worry about basic day-to-day operational functions.

Hosted in the cloud, Hito Edge can be accessed via a browser and provides a fast and secure enterprise IT system that automates the majority of business processes, and allows the company unprecedented control over its day-to-day operations.

Historically, debt management systems have always been built around cases which could lead to a blinkered approach where repeat customers were missed by the system, or where unnecessary multiple letters, calls, and/or visits were made to the same individual for various cases. Hito Edge takes a customer-centric view of all cases and their associated data. By focusing on the individual, the platform enables the linking of cases relating to the same customer. This ensures a more efficient process for making calls and visits, and provides users with a clearer view of the relationships between cases and customers – as well as specific data relating to individuals.

By changing the fundamental approach of the debt management systems, Hito created a foundation to increase collection rates whilst simultaneously improving customer service.

As well as improving the structure of the case and customer data, Hito Edge also controls the distribution of casework to office and field staff in a highly intelligent manner. All cases are scored automatically using complex mathematical algorithms to assess the chances of successful collection. The system takes into account a number of variables, including case/customer history, socio-economic status, location, property, and vehicle data, with the aim of rating the likelihood of collecting on the case – and calculating the optimal time to call, SMS, email or visit the customer.

Next, the cases are dynamically scheduled and distributed amongst the team of office and field staff. Each team member’s cases are planned to ensure they contact each customer at the best time of day to maximise chances of collection, and to provide the best spread of work/minimum effort to inspire greater efficiency. The allocation also takes into account the legal and client service requirements of each case, prioritising them in order to fulfil obligations for calls/visits within a certain time period. Using a fully integrated Google Maps display, Hito Edge plots the real-time locations of every field staff member and automatically monitors individual visits to identify situations calling for additional support.

JBW required a mobile device to enable field staff to update the system on their physical location, and the progress of their daily appointments in real-time. With customer interactions involving a complex set of staged letters, calls and visits – all governed by tight legal restrictions – ensuring effective management of each stage of the process was essential to the overall effectiveness of the system. Rather than using expensive PDAs, Hito selected Google’s Android OS phones and created a custom designed app to be installed on the handsets. The app handles all communications with the central servers, and offers a range of features for enabling field staff to complete the process quickly and easily.

The results:

Analysis has proved that Hito Edge:

  • Reduced JBW’s direct costs by 12% as a result of utilising office and field staff more intelligently
  • Reduced contact to payment ratio from 5.8 to an average of 1.6
  • Delivered a 22% increase in collections for JBW clients without the need for increased resource

As well as making the entire business more productive and delivering better results for clients, Hito’s flexible communication options are enabling customers to manage their own accounts and make payments in greater numbers than ever before; payments via web portals have increased by ~60% and calls into the company’s automated IVR system are up ~150%.

In addition, and a first for the industry, the debt advice services, Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is also provided with their own mobile portal to monitor cases they are dealing with for vulnerable citizens. CAB is able to remotely log into the Hito Edge system, set up payment plans, submit statement of means forms and review all previous documentation.

The success of Hito Edge was recognised by the Chartered Institute for IT and Computing which named the solution ‘Best Project dependent on Mobile Technology’ at the UK IT Industry Awards.

Commenting in the pilot, JBW said:

“Your technology enabled us to reduce the customer touchpoints from 5.8 to 1.6, this truly transformed our business”

David Leach, JBW Board Director